Anime Spotlight: Fruits Basket The Final Season

Fruits Basket The Final Season is the third and final season of the Fruits Basket reboot anime. The season was produced by TMS/8PAN and was directed by Yoshihide Ibata. The episodes of the third season of the Fruits Basket reboot anime aired on Japanese television from April 6-June 29, 2021. As of this writing, both Crunchyroll and FUNimation Entertainment hold the North American rights for the series.

Most of the season ups the drama and revelations. The tension builds very quickly and the “feels” start happening in the third episode, but those “feels” continue to build over the next few episodes. I had nearly cried for three episodes, but then episode six finally broke me. This is the episode where Tohru realizes that Kyo is starting to replace her mother in her heart, and where Kyo talks with Tohru’s grandfather and learns more about Tohru and her life after her father died. But the kicker for me was the conversation that Kyo and Tohru had near the end of the episode.

But this is also the season where the zodiac members’ bonds begin to break with Akito, starting with Momiji. It was interesting to see the reactions of the zodiac members whose bonds break early on in the season, because their reaction isn’t what one would necessarily have expected. Instead of feeling happy that the curse is lifted, there’s a sense of sadness. But it makes sense when it’s later articulated that these characters are afraid they’ll lose the connections they’ve made with the other zodiac members since they no longer have this bond in common.

Another strong focus of this season was on Akito’s descent into madness, and on some of the things she does in order to try to keep her hold on the bonds she has with the zodiac members. She does something awful to Kureno, and also attempts to do the same act to Tohru. But the event at the cliff jolts Akito into a kind of “wake up call.” While this event leads Akito into an arc of redemption, it was refreshing to see at least one member of the zodiac articulate the fact that they can’t truly forgive Akito for the various things she’s done over the years. I thought this was a very realistic way for this particular character to react, and it also makes it clear that Akito’s previous deeds can’t simply be “whitewashed.”

The third season finally establishes various couples that have been hinted at throughout the course of the series, but there are also some relationships that remain vague. Unfortunately, since there were only 13 episodes for Fruits Basket The Final, there wasn’t enough time to include everything from the manga that would help explain some of the relationships that are hinted at in the final episode. I was disappointed that the backstory of Tohru’s parents wasn’t touched on during Fruits Basket The Final, but after the final episode aired, it was revealed that this story would get its own spin-off anime in 2022.

In the end, though, I think that the Fruits Basket reboot anime did a great job of bringing the entire Fruits Basket story to life in an animated format. It wasn’t perfect, of course, especially with some scenes that had to be skipped near the end in order to fit the story in the 13-episode runtime of the final season. For anime-only viewers who want the extra details, they can chase down the manga if they so desire.

This Fruits Basket reboot anime has been a part of my life for the past two years, and I can’t believe that it’s finally come to an end. I have no regrets about the time I have put into watching and writing about this series.

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Infinifan, Inc. Expands Partnership With FUNimation With Fruits Basket, Tokyo Ghoul, and Trigun Licensing Deals

Infinifan, Inc. is adding three more FUNimation licenses to its anime catalog: Fruits Basket (2019), Tokyo Ghoul, and the classic series Trigun. The announcement was made over the July 4, 2021 weekend to coincide with what would have been Anime Expo weekend. All three new properties will have Mochibi product lines, as well as a new plush keychain line called Clippits. Both product lines are currently in development, and a release date window will be announced within the coming months.

Mochibi are officially licensed, super-soft, super-cute stylized versions of popular anime and gaming characters, and the perfect size for squeezing- approximately 6″ x 5″. Featuring embroidered faces, and quality materials and printing, the “comfort” plush are both highly detailed and collectible.

Infinifan has previously partnered with FUNimation to develop Mochibi for My Hero Academia and Dragon Ball Z, and continue to add to these product lines, as well.

Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 13 – “See You Again Soon”

The episode opens with Kyo and Tohru going on a date to a zoo, with Hanajima and Uotani tagging along as chaperones. Hanajima and Uotani are teasing Kyo and giving him a hard time about the location for the date… until Tohru speaks up and says it was her idea. At one point, Tohru goes to the bathroom, and Uotani and Hanajima talk to Kyo about him taking Tohru away. But, as the only real people Tohru has around as family, they give their blessing to Kyo.

We also get to see Yuki talking with Manabe, and the audience learns that Yuki has decided to go to a college that’s far away from where the series is set. Machi shows up, and she has no problem punching Manabe in the face when he says something that annoys her. A little later, we get a scene of just Yuki and Machi together, and it’s when Yuki gives Machi a key to his new place. Their interaction here is sweet, and this starts the ball rolling for seeing characters getting ready to see Tohru and Kyo off.

There’s a brief mention of graduation, and then the remainder of the episode focuses on various characters. In many of these scenes, we not only get to see their reactions to Kyo and Tohru’s departure, but we also get hints as to what the future holds for them. And it’s also established through dialogue between Kisa and Hiro that Shigure’s house will soon be empty (Kyo and Tohru are leaving together, Yuki is heading away to college, and it’s assumed that Shigure is moving back to the main Soma estate to be with Akito).

But one of the most important scenes that takes place here is Yuki having a private conversation with Tohru, and finally admitting to her that he’s viewed her as a mother. And something Yuki says here reinforces a comment that Kyo had made to Tohru earlier in the episode. And there was a nice touch at the end of this scene… when Yuki calls Tohru by her first name for the first time.

I should mention that throughout the episode, there are flashbacks that various characters have of various events that happened throughout the series. It really hit me when I saw the flashbacks from the very early episodes of the series just how much Tohru, along with the other characters, actually looked like they had changed and matured over two years’ time. It’s been readily apparent with some of the characters, such as Momiji, but it wasn’t as easily noticeable for Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki. The three of them just looked so little in those earlier scenes, and it helped to visually solidify the time that has elapsed, as well as the maturing that the characters have gone through over the three seasons of the series.

The final scene is a time skip to the future, at a point where Tohru and Kyo are now grandparents. We see their granddaughter, who is holding a stuffed cat and a stuffed rat toy in each hand, looking for her grandparents. Not only is this scene a great way to show the audience that Tohru and Kyo are still together after all these years, the appearance of the girl’s father is a reference to Fruits Basket Another, the sequel manga series for Fruits Basket.

Even though it can be argued that this episode wasn’t entirely necessary and feels more like an epilogue, I appreciated being able to see what the future holds for Kyo and Tohru, as well as getting hints and ideas of what the future may bring to the other characters the audience has come to know throughout the series.

I still can’t believe that this Fruits Basket reboot anime is now over. It has been a part of my life for two years, and I can truly say that I will miss watching this series. But it has recently been announced that a spin-off anime of some kind, which will feature the backstory for Tohru’s parents, is in the works and is expected to premiere in 2022. Not only do we have an explanation as to why this never appeared in the main Fruits Basket anime, but this news also gives fans of Fruits Basket something to look forward to next year.

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The Official Fruits Basket Website Reveals a New Anime About Tohru’s Parents

The official website for the new anime of Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket manga has announced that the series is getting a new anime in 2022 titled Kyо̄ko to Katsuya no Monogatari (Kyо̄ko and Katsuya’s Story). The anime will focus on the backstory of Tohru’s parents Kyо̄ko and Katsuya, which the 2019-2021 series did not adapt. The website did not list the format or length of the anime.

The three seasons of the Fruits Basket reboot anime adapted Takaya’s Fruits Basket manga. The adaptation has an entirely new Japanese cast and staff from the previous version, as per Takaya’s request. The anime covers the entire manga’s story.

Source: ANN

Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 12 – “You Fought Well”

The episode opens by backtracking to Machi calling Yuki, and Yuki rushing out the door to see her. We finally get to see what happens between these two, and it turns out Yuki’s bond with Akito is broken while he’s talking with Machi. I love how this scene between them transpired. It was awkward, but also sweet. When Yuki suddenly embraces Machi after he realizes the curse is broken, we can see people standing nearby noticing what happened and the shocked expressions on their faces made me smile. This detail was a nice touch of levity for this scene.

After this, we see that the zodiac members have been summoned by Akito… except for Shigure. One of the fears we saw as members had their curses break was wondering if the interactions between the zodiac members would become awkward after losing that connection. Through various characters’ interactions, we see that they still act just as they did before the lifting of the curse. We get to Ritsu in action again, although his reactions to what’s going on don’t come across quite as annoying as when he was first introduced. Everyone is surprised when Akito enters the room, wearing a kimono and looking feminine. Akito tries to apologize, but can never quite get the words “I’m sorry” to come out of her lips. We see she wants to atone for what she’s done, and she acknowledges she’s done some cruel things over the years, but still isn’t able to say those two words. While she’s in the meeting, Akito has flashbacks to Shigure bringing her a present… the kimono. He also gives her an ultimatum about being together. The next time he sees her, that means he will never let her go.

After this, we get a scene between Shigure and Akito, where Akito tells Shigure about what happened at the meeting. She explains that simply saying the words “I’m sorry” sounds too trite and gets her off the hook too easily. But at the end of this scene, these two admit that they love each other. Which then ties up this loose thread.

This is then followed by a scene between Kyo and Tohru at Kyoko’s gravesite. Kyo explains what he wants to do with his future, which includes going to a dojo far away to train with one of Kazuma’s friends. Even though he wants Tohru to come with him, he knows this would take her away from people that she loves. Tohru agrees to go with him without any hesitation, which surprises Kyo. I really liked the interactions between these two, especially when Tohru says that she doesn’t believe that Kyoko’s final words were what she truly meant.

The ending credits started to roll during this scene, and I noticed there was still a bit of time left in the episode, so I wondered where it would be headed. As Kyo and Tohru leave the gravesite, we hear Kyoko’s voice… and quickly discover that we are at the scene of the accident that killed Kyoko. This scene is from her point of view, and we the audience gets to learn Kyoko’s side of what happened. It turns out she recognizes Kyo and remembers the promise that the two of them had made. In her mind, she asks Kyo to find Tohru and protect her this time. The “I’ll never forgive you” line was the ending part of her though, but she only verbalized that portion out loud. What she meant was that if Kyo doesn’t protect Tohru, she would never forgive him. The very last scene of the episode sees Kyoko after her death, reuniting with her late husband, Katsuya. We only get one line of dialogue, which comes from Katsuya: “You fought well”… and this line ends the episode. This last section of the episode nearly had me crying. I’m a little disappointed that the anime wasn’t able to present the backstory of how Katsuya met Kyoko, but with the way this final season went, there was really no good way to include it.

I still can’t believe there’s only one episode left fot Fruits Basket The Final Season. This reboot of Fruits Basket has been part of my life over the past two years, and it seems unreal that the ride is almost over. I’m looking forward to watching next week’s episode to see how the anime will bring everything to a close.

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Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 11 – “Goodbye”

The episode starts out with the final scene from the previous episode, except it’s from Tohru’s perspective instead of Kyo’s. Since it’s through her perspective, the audience gets to hear her thought processes, as well events that took place while she was still recovering in the hospital. Poor Tohru thinks that Kyo is mad at her, and she doesn’t want to do anything more to upset him. We also get to see her trying hard not to shed tears whenever she hears Kyo’s name, but her go-to tactic of smiling to try to hide her sadness just isn’t working anymore. I thought this was a nice touch of character development for Tohru.

When Kyo finally catches up to Tohru, there’s a wonderful scene of these two characters laying their feelings bare and finally admitting that they love the other one. And when they two of them draw into an embrace, something unexpected happens… Kyo doesn’t change into a cat, even though they embrace for quite some time.

We then see Akito in her room, mulling over what has transpired over recent episodes. As part of her musings, though, we also finally get to hear the entirety of the story of God and the zodiac members, and why the cat has been shunned for so long. We also learn that in the story, God was a lonely person living by themselves up on a hill, and how a cat became the first person to befriend them. After sending out many invitations to the outside world, the other 12 animals that we know from the zodiac show up, and everyone has a regularly recurring banquet. But, we learn that everything changes when they discover that the cat is dying, and how God created the eternal bonds so they can continue to have banquets and be together after they die and are reborn. The cat, however, wasn’t happy about being forced to drink the sake that would make this happen, because the cat didn’t long for eternity. God and the other animals thought the cat was rebuking them and were offended, hence why the cat was left out of the zodiac. I thought it was great to finally hear the entirety of the story, instead of the small part the audience has known since the beginning.

And then, we see Akito releasing everyone from the curse, and the reactions that each of the characters have as they realize the bond has been broken. Not surprisingly, Shigure and Hattori have more subdued reactions compared to the other characters, since this fits into their respective characters. But the best part was seeing Kyo ripping off the bracelet that he’s worn for so long, and Tohru’s reaction as she watches the beads fall to the ground.

Before this episode aired, a big deal was made that Hiroshi Kamiya would be providing the voice of God. As the story of the zodiac was being told, I thought that at some point the audience would hear God speak… but we never heard God’s voice. The first time we hear God is the final line right before the ending credits. I found myself thinking, “There was all this buzz over one line?” But then, after the ending credits, there was a post credits section, which was narrated entirely by Hiroshi Kamiya. Post credit scenes usually aren’t a thing in Fruits Basket, so I wasn’t expecting it. But I was happy to see Kyo and Tohru going to see Kazuma and revealing that the curse has broken. The final scene, though, when Tohru and Kyo go to visit Akito, sees Akito pulling Tohru in and leaving Kyo outside. We then see that inside the room, Akito has drawn Tohru into a hug. I thought this was a great note to end the episode on.

However, one thing I was disappointed in was the fact that there was one character we didn’t see react to their curse breaking: Yuki. Last we saw, he was running off to meet up with Machi, and we saw nothing more. I hope we get to see Yuki’s reaction to his curse breaking in next week’s episode.

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Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 10 – “I Just Love Her”

While there’s a lot of drama and important events that unfold here, there’s enough levity sprinkled throughout the episode to help balance things out. There’s also a few scenes of various characters reflecting on themselves and looking inward, and we can hear their inner monologues. It sounds lazy, but these scenes complement what’s happening between the various characters, because they were done in a way that they help the audience to better understand what these characters are feeling.

Arisa and Hanajima go to visit Tohru at the hospital, and they run into Akito leaving Tohru’s room. Akito finally gets to meet the two of them and talk with them. At first, Akito talks about Tohru and blaming herself for what happened, but Hanajima says that Tohru doesn’t blame her. Akito then tells Arisa that Kureno is also a patient at the hospital because Akito stabbed him. Hanajima picks up on the fact that Akito is really a girl, and I think this helped to change Arisa’s reaction to Akito admitting to stabbing Kureno. Now knowing that Akito is a girl and remembering what Kureno had said the last time Arisa saw him, Arisa grabs Akito into a hug instead doing something violent. In this scene, I really appreciated how Hanajima was calm the whole time, and I think her presence and her demeanor helped to affect Arisa’s reaction as well.

Arisa goes to see Kureno, and there’s a great scene here between the two of them. When Kureno says he has one more thing to do for Akito, which is to get out of her sight, Arisa says she doesn’t care where he goes… she just wants to be with him wherever he goes. Admittedly, their age difference does still bother me to some extent, even I have to admit that they’re an adorable couple.

It’s also established in this episode that Kyo has run away and hasn’t visited Tohru in the hospital at all. When the day arrives for Tohru to be discharged, Yuki and Shigure return to find Hatsuharu sitting in their house. He got in because the door was unlocked. At first, they think Shigure left the door unlocked, but then Shigure hears a noise from upstairs and realizes that Kyo is around. Yuki goes to confront Kyo, and we get a good juxtaposition between Yuki and Kyo upstairs, and Hatsuharu and Shigure downstairs. During the confrontation, Yuki becomes very angry… we’ve never seen him get this angry before, and whoa, that’s a sight to behold. Not only is Yuki angry, but he throws a lot of truth bombs out to Kyo as well, as his way of giving him a “pep talk.” While this is going on, Shigure keeps moaning about what’s going on upstairs, while Hatsuharu asks if he can order pizza, and later if he can add nuggets to the order. It’s obvious Shigure isn’t even listening to him, and these moments of levity help to lighten the mood somewhat with all of the drama that’s going on upstairs.

But Yuki’s truth bombs hit Kyo in a way where he realizes what he needs to do. He heads to Soma estate to go see his father, who, as usual, is drinking and is already drunk. Kyo’s father eggs Kyo into a confrontation. But Kyo calmly takes responsibility for his mother’s death, and his father tells a servant to go to the main house and have someone come get Kyo and lock him away for his “crime.” But as Kyo’s father starts hurling insults, Kyo starts remembering flashbacks from his childhood of his father berating his mother with similar, if not the exact same, things his father is saying now. What really hits him is when his father, in current time, says he doesn’t want to ever see either of them again. Kyo realizes that it was his father’s yelling and disparaging of his mother and him that caused his mother to commit suicide. I was so sure that Kyo was going to punch his father in the face, and in some respects, I was kind of rooting for that. But, Kyo displays how much he’s evolved as a character. Instead of resorting to violence, he just calmly tells his father that he’ll come back again. At this point, I think Kyo has come to realize that his father is simply a paranoid and abusive drunk and really doesn’t pose a threat to him.

After this, there’s a scene where Akito and her servant are talking. The servant asks if they should heed Kyo’s father’s demand, and Akito says no, she’ll handle it. She has something to say to Kyo’s father: that Kyo is free and that the shed is going to be destroyed. The servant (who is the older, bitchy woman I’ve complained about in the past), starts lamenting how easy young people have it when it comes to change. The servant says she’s built her life into what it is now over the last 40-60 years, and that she can’t change easily. Akito tells her she can stay where she is, and that she isn’t expected to change. This may sound mean, but I didn’t really feel any sympathy for the servant during this scene. She’s been such an unlikable character for so long, and has done nothing to redeem herself… unlike Akito.

There’s also a brief scene between Kisa and Hiro, with Kisa thanking Hiro for letting her be the first one to find out his curse has broken. He asks her if she has any regrets being with someone who is free of the curse. I like how Kisa turned this around, and asked him if he was ashamed to be around someone who is still cursed. I could tell this made Hiro think a little. Kisa has always had a way of helping Hiro see things from a different perspective.

Yuki is alone, lost in his thoughts, when his cell phone rings. It’s Machi, saying she has something to give him. He asks where she is, and tells her to stay there because he wants to see her right now. We see Yuki sprinting out the door as Hatsuharu is enjoying the pizza that he ordered earlier. I expected that Yuki will make a confession to Machi when he sees her, since Yuki bolts out toward the end of the episode and we don’t see what happens between the two of them.

In the final scene, Kyo is wandering and comes across the hospital… just as Tohru is heading out the door. He realizes that he truly does love her… but when Tohru sees him, she gets tears in her eyes and suddenly runs away. The episode ends with Kyo running after her.

This was another great episode of Fruits Basket, and a lot of character progression took place over the course of roughly 20 minutes. I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen in the next episode.

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Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 9 – “What’s Your Name?”

Just. Wow.

As we saw at the end of the previous episode, Yuki runs off after Kyo, leaving Tohru alone at Shigure’s house. Akito, armed with the knife, appears in front of Tohru. During the confrontation between these two, Tohru finally realizes from what Akito is saying that they actually understand what the other is feeling better than either one has realized… they were both afraid of being left behind (Akito being left behind by the Zodiac members, and Tohru being left behind by her mother). Tohru tries to reach out, and the first couple of times, Akito slashes Tohru’s arm with the knife. But then, Tohru’s words start to reach Akito, which causes Akito to run off. Tohru follows and catches up to her… which is on a cliff. Just as Akito and Tohru come to an understanding and work on building on that understanding, the cliff underneath Tohru crumbles… and Tohru falls all the way down… with Akito looking on in horror.

As this is going on, Yuki runs into Shigure, who is returning after a night of drinking with author friends. They, along with Kyo, suddenly hear Akito screaming for help. Yuki and Shigure reach Akito first, and after Akito clearly explains what happened, Yuki runs off to call an ambulance and find Tohru. I was glad to see Shigure ask Akito point blank if she had pushed Tohru off the cliff. After what happened with Rin, that would realistically be Shigure’s first thought.

When Yuki finds Tohru, I swear I saw in the background the remnants of Tohru’s tent from the first episode. If so, this was a wonderful tie back to a line of dialogue from the first episode about how the ground caves easily in the area where she placed her tent. I thought this was a nice touch. Kyo approaches Yuki and Tohru, and there’s a touching scene here between Kyo and Tohru here, and we see Kyo finally acting on his feelings for her.

With Tohru now in the hospital, the remaining focus of the episode is on Akito. During a conversation outside the hospital with Momiji, we see that Akito hasn’t entirely changed yet, but that she is beginning some kind of a transformation. During this scene, we also see intercutting of a scene of Akito visiting Kureno in the hospital as we hear Akito’s thoughts. It was interesting to see Momiji with a very serious look on his face for most of this conversation, but then softens it at the end of the scene. While the hurt that was caused by Akito isn’t going to go away for any of the characters, Momiji is at least willing to take the first step toward forgiveness.

There’s also a scene of Shigure and Hattori looking in on Akito, and the two of them talking about the change in Akito’s demeanor. Hattori asks Shigure if everything went according to his plan. Shigure’s response is that he guesses it did, but that he is feeling a little remorseful about parts of it. So it sounds like Shigure’s plan was using Tohru to help Akito, and from the scene we see of Akito visiting Tohru at the hospital, it seems like Shigure may be correct in his assessment.

While overall, this episode may not have been quite as intense as the previous couple had been (with the main exception being the confrontation between Akito and Tohru at the beginning of the episode), it was still emotionally gripping. At this point, it seems like the height of the drama has now been reached, and the remaining episodes will likely focus on the aftermath of the events that took place in this episode. And with what happens here, it’s being made clear that the story is almost over.

I can’t believe that Fruits Basket is almost over, but I’m looking forward to watching the remaining episodes and finding out how the story comes to an end.

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Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 8 – “I’m Disappointed in You”

This is another week where at the end of the episode, I feel as if I have to stop and catch my breath. The intensity level of the drama has yet to subside, and from this week’s cliffhanger, it looks like it could more intense before all is said and done.

The episode opens with the final scene of the previous episode, with Tohru saying she needs to tell Kyo something. But then, we continue, with Kyo asking Tohru a question: “Do you love me?” She doesn’t say anything, but Kyo can tell by the look on her face and her reaction that she does. Kyo feels conflicted and runs out of the house into the pouring rain, with Tohru right behind him. She stops him, and the two of them stand in the pouring rain. Kyo starts telling Tohru everything… about how his mother died, how he met Kyoko as a child and their interactions, and admitting that he had been there when Kyoko was killed and could have done something but was too afraid to because it would reveal he wasn’t human.

From that description, it almost makes it sound like the episode was boring… but it wasn’t. The flashbacks add a lot of weight to what’s going on. We also get to see how Kyo was actually there when Tohru disappeared as a child, and how he had promised to find her. But as we know, Yuki was the one who found her and led her home. When Kyoko finds Kyo to tell him that she was found, she’s holding the blue cap. When Kyo explains to Kyoko about the hat and how Yuki was such a “bad” person, Kyoko was trying to talk to him and try to explain to a child about how life isn’t so black and white that there’s a “good guy” and a “bad guy.” But Kyo felt betrayed by Kyoko and ran away, vowing to never see her again. The next time he saw her was the day of the accident, and we get to see how he reacted afterward. It was actually Kyoko’s death and his reaction to it that caused Shisho to take Kyo into the mountains. Which, as we know, was where he was right before the beginning of the series. And then to realize that Tohru was also living in the house when he arrived…

I thought it was very effective that throughout this section of the episode, we don’t get to see Tohru’s face. This created a lot of suspense for the viewer, because it was just unclear what she would do. But when she finally does react, Kyo is surprised. So surprised, in fact, that he runs off. Prior to this, though, Yuki sees out the window that this conversation is going on, and when he gets to where they are, he overhears the final bit of it before Kyo runs off. Yuki goes after him, but not before he tells Tohru to get back in the house because she’ll catch cold from being out in the rain.

But the cliffhanger that happens when Tohru is left alone… yikes! Next week can’t come soon enough!

This episode, though… the emotions were so raw, especially for Kyo. But what really got me was Tohru’s reaction to everything and how her emotions were going. In fact, Tohru almost made me cry again.

I can’t believe there’s only five more episodes left of the series. Just how much more intense is this going to get before it ends? Even though it’s been so intense, I am hooked and want to see how the rest of this story plays out. Like I said just a little earlier, next week can’t come soon enough.

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Fruits Basket The Final Season: Episode 7 – “That’s Right, It’s Empty”

Whew! This was an intense, and almost dark, episode. It wasn’t a tearjerker like the previous one, but damn. Let’s try to unpack this.

A large focus of the episode is on the relationship between Akito, Ren (Akito’s mother), and Akira (Akito’s late father). We get to see how Ren and Akira got together and how Ren came to resent Akito because Akira seemed to more interested in his daughter than in his wife. We get to see when Akira dies, and how Akito was there and not Ren. Ren is told that it was sudden and that there wasn’t time to call for her, but from a flashback we get later from Akito, Akira is able to talk to her before he dies. We learn that Ren was a servant before she married Akira, and how the head of the servants (the nasty old woman we’ve seen previously) objected to their union.

Ren gets a visit from Shigure, and they talk about the box that Rin failed to get out of Akito’s room. At one point, we see a flashback of Shigure, Kureno, Hattori, and Ayame talking about how Ren was forcing Akito to be raised as a boy, and the young Shigure was actually a lot like the Shigure we know now. That’s not what you’d expect to hear from a kid. At one point, Ren tries to seduce Shigure, but he rebuffs her by saying that when he looks at her, he wonders if Akito would look like Ren if she had been raised as a girl.

Akito is sitting at the window of her room, holding the box that Ren covets so much. Kureno comes in and the two of them have a conversation. Just as it seems like that perhaps Akito is finally starting to realize the truth about the relationships she has with the zodiac members, and enraged Ren comes barging into the room… and she’s wielding a knife. Ren demands Akito to hand over the box, and Akito throws it to her and says she can have it. When the box falls to the floor and opens, Ren discovers that it’s an empty box (hence the title of the episode). We learn that older and nasty servant had given the box to Akito, saying this would keep her dead father by her side. Akito grabs the knife and is about to kill Ren when she senses that another bond has broken…

This time, Hiro’s bond has broken. He’s a mess of emotions, but fortunately, his mother is very understanding. She is able to hug him and comfort him. She understands that the curse has broken, and that goodbyes are hard. It was a touching moment to see Hiro holding his little sister and being hugged by his mother. This was the sweetest moment in this otherwise relatively darker episode.

At the Soma estate, Akito has taken the knife with her when she leaves her room. Outside, she cries and seems confused about what to do. Kureno hugs her and tries to comfort her, but Akito becomes enraged because she feels it’s too late for the advice that he’s giving her. Let’s just say this leads to Akito losing it and doing something with that knife. After this scene, we see Arisa at work with one of her co-workers, and they have found a dead bird while taking out the garbage. I thought this served as powerful imagery, especially coming right after what we saw Akito do to Kureno. But I have to say that when I saw what Akito did to Kureno, I audibly gasped. Even though I saw Akito take that knife with her, I wasn’t expecting her to do that, not especially to Kureno, of all people.

There’s also a couple of scenes of Kyo in this episode as well. At the beginning of the episode, he has a flashback to when he was a kid talking to Kyoko. But then, this turns into a nightmare, where he’s caught in the middle between his dead mother and Kyoko. He takes this nightmare to mean that he shouldn’t fool himself into thinking that Tohru cares for him and that being locked away is inevitable for the future. We don’t see Kyo again until right at the end of the episode. Just as he’s about to head out, Tohru stops him and says she has something she needs to tell him. And that’s where it ends. I suspect the next episode will see Tohru telling Kyo what she’s planning to say, and whatever ramifications there are that result from this discussion.

Wow… it looks like there’s still six more episodes to go, and the story has already gotten this intense. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this series is going to wrap up, and I’m especially curious to see just how much more intense this series is going to get before it reaches its climax.

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